Tokyo, Japan | AFP | Boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr and a Japanese kickboxer half his age will be aiming to knock each other out next month, despite the match-up being an exhibition, the fight’s Japanese promoter said Saturday.
The bout between Mayweather and Tenshin Nasukawa, first announced earlier this month, was abruptly scrapped by the American boxer over a “misunderstanding”, according to the CEO of mixed martial arts promotor RIZIN.
But on Friday it was back on for New Year’s Eve.
“It will be a non-official bout. It won’t be on record. So it’s an exhibition match,” Nobuyuki Sakakibara told reporters at Haneda airport in Tokyo returning from talks with Mayweather in Los Angeles.
“But at worst it’s not going to be a sparring… they will fight aiming to knock out,” he added.
The Mayweather side had been confused with the status of the bout as it was unclear if it will be an official fight, according to Sakakibara.
Asked if the bout could be cancelled again, Sakakibara said: “I don’t think there will be a cancellation unless unforeseen circumstances such as extraordinary natural phenomenon occur.”
Mayweather has already said the fight would go ahead in Saitama, north of Tokyo, but would be an exhibition.
“We’re going to make it happen. It’s a no-brainer,” the retired welterweight boxer told the US website TMZ Sports in California on Wednesday.
The unbeaten 41-year-old, who won world titles in five different weight divisions, told the site the face-off would involve no kicking, saying: “It’s going to be a little boxing exhibition.”
Sakakibara confirmed the fight would be an orthodox boxing style without kicking, which will be a disadvantage for Nasukawa, an unbeaten kickboxer.
“But I want him to pull off something like a miracle,” he said adding that further details of rules such as a decision will be discussed later.
Sakakibara also said a contract of the bout remained unchanged as the highest paid for such an exhibition, but did not reveal the amount.